Couponing 101

You possibly are here because I spoke to you in the grocery store and you thought I was crazy for buying such large amounts but then you were amazed at how much I was going to pay 🙂
I then handed you my card with the cute piggy and told ya to come on over and check out the site. If so well welcome and thank you.
In either case welcome and enjoy.

Here are things I have personally learned and gathered in my time couponing since May 2011, I do not claim to know it all but I have done lots of research and have spent many hours doing this and would love to help any newbie with the basics that took me a while to gather.

Once you have read through all of my tips here and still have questions please feel free to leave a comment or even email me at and I will gladly help you.

Also be sure to follow me on Facebook as I post deals sometimes there and not here on the blog.

Now for starters the first thing people do not seem to realize, especially here in Florida is “Buy One Get One Free (BOGO)” truly means the 2nd item is free, you must buy both items to get the sale price. However in a case of example 2/$5 you do not need to buy both items.

Now when applying coupons in the equation. On a BOGO deal you can apply a coupon to both items. So say we have Ocean Spray Juice BOGO $3.99 and you have 2 coupons for $1.00 off one bottle. You can use both those coupons and you would now be paying $1.99 for 2 bottles or $0.99 a bottle.
This is the one thing a lot of people really don’t realize is even though the sale is giving you the item for free, you are still allowed to use a coupon towards it, as it is still a purchase.

In a case of a BOGO sale with a coupon for BOGO you will get both items for free.

Stores to Shop At
At Publix you can stack store coupons with a manufacturer coupon.
Here is a good example that is going right now.
In their green flyer there is a $5 off 2 bottles of Sundown Vitamins and there were $1.00 manufacturer coupons in a recent insert. So if you have 2 Manu. coupons that would give you a total of $7.00 off 2 bottles. AND if you have happen to find 2 bottles that total less than that $7.00 they will pay you the overage. Or apply it to your other purchases if you are buying other items.
Publix also accepts competitor coupons, all you have to do is ask at Customer Service for a card that shows who their competitors are. Every store is different based on what other grocery stores are within a 5 – 10 mile radius of that location.

At Winn-Dixie they do not pay overage but at times the system does allow the overage to go towards your other purchases. It really seems to be up to the system. But one nice thing at Winn-Dixie is you can use coupons with their nice What-A-Meal and What-A-Deal offers even on the free items. Just make sure you present your coupons before letting them scan your reward card.

At Wal-Mart they are another store that pays overage on coupons however, 1 most of the cashiers have not been taught that and will fight you, 2 customer service managers love to deny you the use of coupons even if your are using it within its purpose. It has been said its best to bring their coupon policy with you and show it to them but even then I’ve heard horror stories. If you do run into a problem though it always best to just call corporate 1-800-Walmart and complain, alot of people end up with a $25 gift card for the trouble.
One thing I have noticed though that alot of the coupon blogs will tell you that you can use a certain coupon on a trial or travel size of a product, however there are times that Wal-Mart will not honor the coupon and the reason will be because the smaller item is actually distributed by a company other than the parent company that has put the coupon out. So if you are going to go trial size shopping to earn overage just check the distributor on the small item opposed to the one listed on the coupon as to who will be reimbursing for the coupon.

CVS & Walgreens both are awesome for coupon shopping both in their own unique way. I personally love to shop CVS more than Walgreens, you can not get overage in either store but the Rewards systems make it fun.
These are usually best left to conquer after you are comfortable with groceries 😉

Other stores that accept coupons but you can’t go to crazy with the deals, Save-A-Lot (match-ups always featured here), Dollar General, and Family Dollar. One thing to note that I have found Big Lots DOES NOT accept coupons. That came to a big surprise to me as they carry alot of name brand items.

Where do I get Coupons
Now that I have covered all the main stores that are mostly coupon friendly onto “Where do I get the coupons?”
Ok so you want to get going and you want to be able to get these BOGO deals at the cheapest price. One I recommend you get at the least 2 papers, but it is usually a rule of thumb you get a paper per person in your house but always in multiples of 2. So you have a family of 5 get 6 papers.
You can just go to the store and buy them but there is also always ways of getting good deals on a subscription especially if you want to get multiples.
Also always be watching for new coupons that you can print, at times these are higher than in the paper even and you are usually allowed to print 2 copies of them. However NEVER photocopy what you print as they have unique codes on them that are good for 1 use only.
Some people even go to the extent of visiting the recycling center and picking up old inserts there, or getting inserts from friends and family that do not coupon.

Also always grab a few coupons and in multiples of 2 when you see the “Blinkies” The little boxes on the shelves that spit a coupon out. Or coupons stuck to a shelf “peelies”, or “hang tags” coupons on products.

Also do not feel bad taking a couple coupons stuck to products and not buy the product at that moment. Just make sure you do not deface the product in the process. The distributor usually places those on the products but never when they are on sale. So grab em and wait for a sale.

I honestly should be the last person to tell anyone how to organize their coupons, however I can tell you starting out when you do not have an insane amount of coupons the binder method is AWESOME and you can take it with you and be able to look for coupons while you shop.
Once you have been going for about 6 months and still basically have 6 months of coupons it starts getting harder and harder to clip them and file them in any order that makes sense.
I currently do not clip my coupons until I see a deal I want to get. I keep the inserts in stack in date order and just write the date of the paper they were in with a sharpie on the front.
I plan on getting a file box or a new binder with page protectors and keep them filed that way. I do however miss being able to take my coupons with me shopping so I could pick up deals as I came across them instead of noting what I saw and going back later. Again like I said I’m the last person to tell you how to organize them.
The typical ways though are either the binder method or the file by date and keep the inserts whole. You just have to try different ways and see what works with your life schedule.

I think for now this is all I can offer. This tutorial will be updated regularly I’m sure as I think of other tidbits of knowledge that I have gathered.

HAPPY COUPONING & Let me know how you do.